Marquette Travels to No. 15 Butler on Saturday
Oct. 28, 2016
MILWAUKEE – The Marquette University men’s soccer team closes out the road portion of its schedule with a Saturday showdown against Butler, which is reeling after four losses in its previous five matches entering play. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Central time in Indianapolis.
The Golden Eagles (4-6-4, 1-4-2 BIG EAST), despite falling to BIG EAST leader Providence on Wednesday, is still in contention for a spot in the BIG EAST tournament as none of the 10 teams in the conference have been mathematically eliminated yet. Marquette needs to win its final two regular season games against the Bulldogs on Saturday and DePaul on Nov. 3 to remain in the conversation.
Butler (9-5-1, 4-3-0 BIG EAST) was sitting atop the conference prior to a 1-0 setback to Creighton back on Oct. 7. It was the beginning of a now-difficult stretch for the Bulldogs as they have gone on to drop four of five matches entering play on Saturday. A shocking 1-0 overtime loss to DePaul on the road on Wednesday has Butler sitting in fifth place in the current BIG EAST standings.
The Golden Eagles made things interesting after Luka Prpa’s team-leading ninth goal in the 78th minute at Providence, but the team ultimately fell short by a 2-1 result. Prpa overtook the league-lead with 24 points on nine goals and six assists and is the front-runner for BIG EAST Freshman of the Year with two regular season matches remaining.
Marquette struggled to put a solid 90 minutes together as they fell behind 2-0 in the first half at Providence before outplaying the Friars in the second 45 minutes. When the Golden Eagles put together a solid performance in both halves, it typically results in a dominating effort as all four of the team’s victories have featured four-goal outputs.
Butler is a tough opponent on its home turf, going 6-1-0 so far this season. Both offenses are in the top half of the conference in goals scored with the Bulldogs averaging 1.93 goals per game and the Marquette at 1.71. The Golden Eagles lead the all-time series, 4-3, but the Bulldogs have won each of the previous two meetings and have yet to drop a home match to MU following two prior matchups at the Butler Bowl.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
The Bulldogs are the highest-scoring team in the BIG EAST, totaling nearly 2.00 goals per game while outscoring opponents 29-17 on the season. In league play alone, the goal differential shrinks to 11 goals scored versus eight goals allowed. Over its last five matches, Butler has been outscored 5-2 and been shutout three times.
The key for the opposition has been keeping leading scorer David Goldsmith off the scoreboard. The senior has not scored in each of the last five matches and still ranks tied for second in the league, behind only Marquette’s Luka Prpa (24 points), with 23 points on 10 goals and three assists. Eight Bulldogs have found the back of the net in all this season with Lewis Suddick ranking second on the team with 18 points on eight goals and two assists. Isaac Galliford (3g, 5a) and Jared Timmer (2g, 6a) also have double-digit points this year.
Eric Dick has been one of the top goalkeepers in the BIG EAST in 2016, playing every minute for the Bulldogs while sporting a 1.09 GAA with 50 saves and a .746 save percentage.
Last season’s meeting was the first loss at home for Marquette in the season series as Butler used a 2-0 result on the way to a BIG EAST tournament appearance. David Goldsmith recorded a brace with goals in the 23rd and 30th minutes to propel Butler and spoil Senior Night for the Golden Eagles.
COMING UP NEXT
JAROSZ, SZCZEPANEK EARN CoSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT HONORS
Jarosz and Szczepanek join a long list of Marquette student-athletes to earn this prestigious honor. Just two years ago, former MU standouts Charlie Lyon and Axel Sjoberg capped off multiple years honored to the All-District team.
PRPA REELS LEAGUE AND NATIONAL HONORS
The Wind Lake, Wisconsin native was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week for the third time this season and landed on the College Soccer News and Top Drawer Soccer National Teams of the Week for the second time this year following his two-goal performance in a win over then-second place Xavier on Oct. 22.
Also, earning league recognition were redshirt junior Daniel Szczepanek, who tallied a goal and two assists in the win over Xavier, and sophomore goalkeeper Luis Barraza, who matched a career-high with nine saves in the win.
MARQUETTE HONORED WITH NSCAA TEAM ACADEMIC AWARD
On Oct. 22 against Xavier, a squad that ranked second in the BIG EAST and was receiving votes in the latest NSCAA poll, freshmen Luka Prpa and Connor Alba combined for three goals and an assist, while fellow freshman Patrick Seagrist notched his second assist of the season in the 4-1 victory at Valley Fields.
Back on Aug. 29, Marquette claimed a 4-0 win over NIU and three MU freshmen accounted for all four goals and 10 of the 11 points collected – the most points accounted for by a group of MU freshmen in a single game since Louis Bennett took over as head coach in 2006.
Jan Maertins and Connor Alba scored their first career tallies, while Prpa registered two goals and two assists. Prpa’s six-point effort was the most by a freshman in a single match since C. Nortey tallied six points with a hat trick in a win over Seton Hall back on Oct. 22, 2011. He would add another two-goal, two-assist performance in a 4-1 win over UIC (Sept. 2) the following match and was awarded appropriately with NSCAA and College Soccer News National Player of the Week honors.
GOLDEN EAGLES IN THE PROS
The Golden Eagles also feature three additional alumni grads currently under contract in Major League Soccer with Calum Mallace(Montreal Impact) currently in his fifth season, and Axel Sjoberg (Colorado Rapids) and Charlie Lyon (Seattle Sounders) each in their second seasons in 2016.
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